Tag Archives: Facebook

Oscar Becomes a Hero

Facebook surprise me with memories sometimes. This morning they reminded me of a piece I’d written 5 years ago to the day when I was writing about Oscar. He was just 16 at this point. He lived until just past his 18th birthday and died on Oct 1st 2013. During all that time we’d recorded his battles with the other household ‘pets’ introduced by Julia. The three ‘girls’ who were rats and beautiful and the degus who though delightful to look at had less intelligence than a peanut and who made short work of all the wires in the lounge whenever they broke free.

Anyway, here’s the piece Facebook reminded me of.

How easily things change. One light time I’m all but invisible in the village and the next I’m the flavour of the week. Though of course that’s how it should be really.

I was a little bored and not sure what to do with myself. Outside it was still the dark time and inside there was no light as my ‘The Her’ and ‘The Him’ we’re still asleep. I’d had some fun unravelling all her knitting , I’d ‘borrowed’ a few pairs of socks, I’d even knocked two plants off the ledge by the small clearway but now I was bored. It was time for fun with the Longlegs.

I walked through my home to the room where my ‘The Him’ was in his sleeping place making those funny grunting sounds that my ‘The Her’ hates so much. He looked funny sprawled on his back , arms up above his head and one leg hanging out of the covers. It looked a very handy way up so I got a good grip and ran up the leg to the sleeping place. It might or might not have been the fact that my claws were out that caused the “What the?” that I heard but I’m afraid that was soon cut off as I jumped straight onto his stomach bringing forth an “Ooph.” I lay down and started retracting and bringing forth my claws to make him softer ( it never seems to work) until the arms which had now come from near his head started stroking me. But, if he thought he was going to get back to sleep that way he was wrong. I didn’t start purring as he’d hoped. I moved higher up his body and connected my head with his chin making him lift his head. I was then able to snuggle under his chin. Unfortunately this didn’t seem to please him today, perhaps because I may just possible have been leaning on his windpipe. Totally accidentally you understand.

It took only moments for my ‘The Him’ to decide I wanted something and gently pushing me aside he swung himself off his sleeping place. “Well, what is it you want you rogue?” he asked, probably expecting me to need food. Instead I led him through to the lounge where I made him sit and stroke me for a few minutes. Then, off I jumped and led him to the clearway. “ Hooray!” He said ,”you out and me back to bed.”

That suited me and as the clearway opened out I went. The light time was almost upon us now and I decided to walk to the village. There was no sign of Ginger or the others on my way but there was a lot of fascinating rustling coming from the undergrowth nearby. Lucky for them I’d eaten. I was just level with the Fursty Ferret when I heard a noise. It was a Longlegs scream . It was coming from below the pub. I went to look and the wooden floor outside was open. I could see a female down below shaking with fright at the sight of a rat in the corner. The rat was more frightened than she was but she couldn’t see that.

I jumped down and hissing at the rat I lunged and caught it by the neck. “Play Dead” I told it with a muffled voice, my mouth full of rat hair. It went limp. I jumped out of the cellar and deposited it on the ground. “You’re the pet of that little girl next door aren’t you?” I said, “better get yourself of home before someone comes to check I’ve finished you off.” He ran home quickly and I went to lean over the edge of the floor.

“Oh thank you Oscar” said the female Longlegs as she recognised me.”how brave you are, I shall get you some salmon , wait there.” And wait I did. It was delicious.

I had just started to leave when there was another Longlegs sound of dismay and before me was one of the old ones looking up into a tree where a kitten sat shivering in the branches. I guessed she wanted the kitten down, probably to treat it with some respect as we Superiors deserve but I know that some kittens while good climbers up, are not good climbers down. I climbed up and found this was the case. Once up there, the little female kitten had found she didn’t like the height. Picking her up by the neck as I had the rat I carried her safely down to the ground. The old Longlegs was crying and fussing the kitten who just rolled over on her back to enjoy it. I stood by as proud as I should be until suitable recognition came my way. It did, as the old one finally started fussing me too.

“Oh what a brave, clever cat ( cat ?) you are Oscar” she said, and out of the corner of my eye I saw the now unfussed kitten start heading towards the tree again. “ I won’t come after you a second time” I said “back here now please for another fuss.”

The kitten obeyed and was rewarded with another fuss as promised and I even joined in by licking it.

I carried on strolling but met none of the gang and nothing else happened. Getting bored again I decided to head home for food.

As I arrived back and entered through the clearway I saw my ‘The Him’ with a dish. I followed and found he had put me some fresh chicken out. My ‘The Her’ entered and started stroking me.

“Well Oscar, you have been a busy boy this morning. I’ve been getting phone calls from the village about you.” Before I could deny any wrongdoing,she added “You must be the bravest pussy cat ( why can’t people call us Superiors?)( But of course she’s right about the bravest) in the village.

So, I’m back on top and in favour again in my rightful position. I can’t wait until I tell the rest of the gang later.


Filed under Uncategorized

Welcome to an Interview with author Christoph Fischer

Welcome to an Interview with Christoph Fischer
Christoph Fischer
Author of.  Conditions
A brief synopsis.

Two estranged brothers are confronted with each other when their mother dies. One is bitter about his place in the family, the other has mental health issues. The book follows the group of people attending the funeral and covers the days leading up to and the weeks following the funeral itself . 
What made you decide to write this book?
I know a lot of people who struggle with mental health issues, whether it is  themself or because of one their friends or their family. I’m amazed at how wonderful and natural some people are with it and how uncomfortable and unkind others are. I always wanted to write about that to raise awareness and make people challenge themselves. I think we all (me very much included) have a lot to learn about full integration and tolerance. 
Where did you find these characters?
Through real life. They all are blends of a large variety of sources: People I knew a long time ago, the person talking on their phone in the queue in front of me or a snippet from an overheard conversation without context- they all give me an idea. Then the story takes over and the characters change and develop and take on their own life.
Do you write purely from imagination or do everyday scenes influence you?
Very much both.  Some of the storylines are based on real events, but they are also what I made of those events in my head. I find it quite boring to simply re-tell something that has already happened because it imposes a rigid structure and takes away the fun and ‘creative freedom’. In the writing process, the plot usually forces changes and new angles and by the time a book is published little is left of the original idea.
Share with the readers one little known fact about yourself.
Between the ages of 9 and 19 I performed a lot of amateur theatre, mainly fairy tales and small sketches. My first role was that of a wild boar and all I did was stand inside a papier mache replica of said boar and run across the stage. Later on I got to show my face and speak but somehow Steven Spielberg has not taken notice.
I love the theatre  and should go more often.
( So far, I haven’t found you the least Boar-ing ) (Sorry).
Your name suggests a German Origin. How long have you lived in the UK and what made you choose to live here? Style of house?
I came to the UK by a string of coincidences really. I participated in a student exchange programme in 1993 which resulted in me living with a Welsh partner and having a nice job in London. I had big ambitions for further travels and a career in films but subsequent job, house and partner changes brought me to the lovely rural cottage in Wiltshire where I currently live with another Welshman, instead of a harbour-view penthouse in Sydney or Vancouver (which is what I had originally aimed for). I’m very happy with the way it all played out, though.
Are you traditionally published or an Indie author? What influenced that choice?
I went Indie because it seemed easier than spending months writing humble begging letters to get someone to read my work or to speak to someone who knows an agent or publisher.
A few years ago I went to a self-publishing seminar in London (held by Hay House Publishing) and decided to try ‘working for myself’ rather than for someone else. I’ve learned since that traditional publishers don’t offer as much as they used to; in fact, the entire industry is going through some vast dynamic changes and it seems safer to keep control and rights to myself. I’m pleased with the results I’ve achieved going it alone and see no immediate need to go traditional.
If you could have one wish, what would it be?
To find a cure for …..
Your book goes to No 1 and fans ask for a sequel. Is there one?
There already is a plan for a sequel to Conditions. Not all of the side characters in the book are given as much attention as I would have liked to and I have some great ideas where to take them next.
Some parts of the story couldn’t come to a lasting conclusion within the space of the two weeks that my novel covers. That would have been unrealistic and not the kind of book I’d like to write.
Tell us about the type of books you read. Do you enjoy humour ?
I know a lot of other indie authors and read a lot of their work. I love humour, particularly that of Aaron David, Ian Hutson and Andrew Peters. I love a good drama, tear jerkers, historical novels and foreign literature but I read a bit of everything.
What’s the strangest joke you’ve played on anyone?
I’m a poor practical joker and by no means have a poker face, so I’m scratching the bottom of the barrell here:
2010, Waitrose Abergavenny. My mother-in-law spent all morning nagging away at my partner for not wearing a mac – as she felt was decent and called for on such a drizzly day. Between arriving at her home and taking her to the coffee shop in the supermarket she must have mentioned it ten times, to the point that nobody was talking to each other anymore. Trying to break the ice I took a gamble and involved one of the waiters in a practical joke. When he came to pick up some empty cups he took a step back and said with a disapproving headshake to my partner: “Aren’t you cold? You should be wearing a body warmer or a mac on a day like this.”
You probably had to be there to appreciate the moment but even my mother-in-law laughed and we spent the rest of the day in peace and harmony.
Is there some significance to the flag you’re holding? It reminds me of an old Greek flag.
That’s interesting. What I’m holding is the current Finnish flag. I started using that picture when I began my current work in progress,”In Search of a Revolution”, which is a historical novel set in Finland 1918 – 1950. I also chose the picture because of my dog Molly. The photo was actually taken at a Eurovision Party where I supported the Finnish entry.
Do you have a website to share? 
Any Link to the Book?
Previous Books & links

The Luck of the Weissensteiners (Three Nations Trilogy Book 1)

In the sleepy town of Bratislava in 1933 a romantic girl falls for a bookseller from Berlin. Greta Weissensteiner, daughter of a Jewish weaver, slowly settles in with the Winkelmeier clan just as the developments in Germany start to make waves in Europe and re-draws the visible and invisible borders. The political climate in the multifaceted cultural jigsaw puzzle of disintegrating Czechoslovakia becomes more complex and affects relations between the couple and the families. The story follows them through the war with its predictable and also its unexpected turns and events and the equally hard times after.
But this is no ordinary romance; in fact it is not a romance at all, but a powerful, often sad, Holocaust story. What makes The Luck of the Weissensteiners so extraordinary is the chance to consider the many different people who were never in concentration camps, never in the military, yet who nonetheless had their own indelible Holocaust experiences. This is a wide-ranging, historically accurate exploration of the connections between social location, personal integrity and, as the title says, luck.

On Amazon:  http://smarturl.it/Weissensteiners


On Goodreads: http://bit.ly/12Rnup8

On Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1bua395

Trailer: http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/OtmyZh4Dmc/?autoplay=1

B&N  http://ow.ly/Btvas


Sebastian (Three Nations Trilogy Book 2)

Sebastian is the story of a young man who has his leg amputated before World War I. When his father is drafted to the war it falls on to him to run the family grocery store in Vienna, to grow into his responsibilities, bear loss and uncertainty and hopefully find love.
Sebastian Schreiber, his extended family, their friends and the store employees experience the ‘golden days’ of pre-war Vienna and the timed of the war and the end of the Monarchy while trying to make a living and to preserve what they hold dear.
Fischer convincingly describes life in Vienna during the war, how it affected the people in an otherwise safe and prosperous location, the beginning of the end for the Monarchy, the arrival of modern thoughts and trends, the Viennese class system and the end of an era.
As in the first part of the trilogy, “The Luck of The Weissensteiners” we are confronted again with themes of identity, Nationality and borders. The step back in time made from Book 1 and the change of location from Slovakia to Austria enables the reader to see the parallels and the differences deliberately out of the sequential order. This helps to see one not as the consequence of the other, but to experience them as the momentary reality as it must have felt for the people at the time.

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TNTSeb


On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/pthHZ

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/pthNy

Trailer: http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/95jvSpHf5a/

B&N http://ow.ly/Btvbw


The Black Eagle Inn (Three Nations Trilogy Book 3)

The Black Eagle Inn is an old established Restaurant and Farm business in the sleepy Bavarian countryside outside of Heimkirchen.  Childless Anna Hinterberger has fought hard to make it her own and keep it running through WWII. Religion and rivalry divide her family as one of her nephews, Markus has got her heart and another nephew, Lukas got her ear. Her husband Herbert is still missing and for the wider family life in post-war Germany also has some unexpected challenges in store.

Once again Fischer tells a family saga with war in the far background and weaves the political and religious into the personal. Being the third in the Three Nations Trilogy this book offers another perspective on war, its impact on people and the themes of nations and identity.

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/pAX3y

On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/pAX8G

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TBEI

Trailer: http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/mB2JZUuBaI/

Time To Let Go:

Time to Let Go is a contemporary family drama set in Britain.
Following a traumatic incident at work Stewardess Hanna Korhonen decides to take time off work and leaves her home in London to spend quality time with her elderly parents in rural England. There she finds that neither can she run away from her problems, nor does her family provide the easy getaway place that she has hoped for. Her mother suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and, while being confronted with the consequences of her issues at work, she and her entire family are forced to reassess their lives.
The book takes a close look at family dynamics and at human nature in a time of a crisis. Their challenges, individual and shared, take the Korhonens on a journey of self-discovery and redemption.

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/BtKtQ

On Goodreads:  http://ow.ly/BtKs7

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TTLG

Please feel free to share an excerpt.

Martha was petit and fragile looking with bleach blonde hair, very light skin and lots of freckles. She seemed lost in her overly large black dress.  When she saw it was a stranger answering the door she trembled, mumbling a barely audible greeting. Charles quickly stuck his head out of the kitchen and shouted:

“Martha, this is my friend Simon.”

She looked puzzled.

“Remember, I said there’d be someone from Torquay. The orchid guy?”

She nodded slightly, hesitantly stepped into the hallway and looked searchingly around.

“Talk to each other while I’m making dinner,” Charles ordered them. “I’ll be out soon. Go, sit in the living room!”

Martha shrugged and gave a little grin, then stood there waiting for Simon to do something.

“You have been here before, haven’t you?” he asked surprised at her lack of initiative.

“Yes, of course,” she said, continuing to stand until he started to walk. Only then did she move towards the living room, following his lead. She sat down on the sofa, put her handbag on the floor and folded her hands over her knees. She remained that way, without saying a further word, her gaze averted towards the floor. Simon sat down on the other sofa and tried to think of the right thing to say, but was stumped. Although she was as shy as Charles had predicted, there was something quite forceful underneath that exterior that didn’t sit comfortable with him. An unspoken pressure surrounded that woman and tensed up the atmosphere. She, too, had very attractive features, he thought. A hint of Meg Ryan maybe, if only her face was more relaxed.

“Can I get you a drink?” he eventually asked, grateful that something had finally sprung to mind.

“No thank you,” she said, her voice cracking halfway through the first syllable. He noticed that her eyes were melancholic and seemed to be continually searching for something. She smiled and shrugged as if to apologise for it. Only then did Simon remember being told about her drinking problem and felt the sting of embarrassment. To add to his discomfort Martha now seemed to have lost some of her initial shyness and looked expectantly at him. The mounting pressure began to feel very uncomfortable.

He remembered her story vaguely from one of Charles’s long monologues. Martha and Charles had met in hospital after his accident at the estate while she was being treated for nasty bruises and fractures – souvenirs from a recent fight with her latest abusive husband. The memory made him even more self-conscious as to what to speak to her about.

“How was the journey?” Simon had finally thought to ask.

“Alright,” she said, repeating her grin and shrug routine.

“Are you still living in…” Simon paused, realising that he couldn’t remember the name of the town.

“I’m still in the same place that I lived in with my ex-husband Clive,” she said eagerly. She had moved to the front of the seat and was leaning towards him. “It has to be sold to complete the divorce settlement and the sale is taking its time,” she added.

“Sorry to hear that,” he said, surprised by her sudden change of attitude.

“Like our marriage, the sale has turned into a tedious and painful affair,” she said, giggling slightly.

“I see,” Simon said, feeling embarrassed by the sudden intimacy. “I hadn’t meant to ask that, of course.”

“I don’t mind talking about it,” she said. “I’m in AA and there we share everything. Clive and I worked at the same firm and nothing about the split has ever been secret. Everyone knows my story and in parts I find that quite liberating. Charles probably mentioned the saga to you. At least he probably told you why I don’t drink,” she added.

Simon was stunned into silence by her forwardness.

“You don’t have to get embarrassed,” she assured him.

“I am embarrassed,” he said, to which she just shrugged her shoulders.


Well, I’m parched. I’m sure it’s time you put the kettle on and a dark chocolate ginger or two wouldn’t come amiss. That’s why I’m interviewing you in you’re own home or I’d have to share mine.
Can I interest you in a bara brith or a welsh cake?
Erm.  Os gwelwch yn dda.
Thanks Chistoph, you’ve been very patient, very forthcoming and almost hospitable.You will have the dark chocolate gingers in for next time won’t you.
My very best wishes with this and with all your books.
My apologies to everyone for the changes in font size . I don’t have the facility to choose/change font sizes within WordPress so I cut and past from elsewhere in a better size. WordPress makes the changes back at random intervals and nothing I do changes them back to the original size.


Filed under Uncategorized

The Social Set and Friendships.

I was talking online to someone this week and the conversation got round to social sites. ” Of course” I was told ” you can’t make friends online. Not real ones. Plenty of acquaintances but not real friends”. As the conversation ended it set me thinking. I’ve often referred to some of the people I have on Social sites as friends. Could I be wrong?

I’ve been using social sites for quite a long time. From private members sites to Facebook, twitter and Gather.com.  I think the first person I met that I named friend was on a private members site. He’s a lawyer from the U.S. called James. He  thinks I’m friends so that I always have a lawyer to call on should I need one but in fact he’s been there as a dependable friend and confidante through some major crises in both our lives health wise and has often helped me in a fraud sideline. We reached a point of gifts at birthdays and Christmases that require real thought and indicate a real friendship.

Not all friendships can last of course as sometimes people go in different directions. I had another long lasting friendship that led to a really nice lady editing my books for me before they went on the Indie publishing sites. The fact that we did go separate ways in the end doesn’t diminish the friendship we had in my eyes. Of course because these are social sites we meet people on the ether from all over the known world. The internet makes it easy to laugh at distance. I was very fortunate that one young lady was due to come to the UK as an Envoy for her school and a youth group. Julia, Yvonne and I had the opportunity to meet her for a short time as she ventured close to Wales. We had been writing for a long time as she’s also an author, and yes, many of my friends are authors since it’s a common interest. In the case of this young lady I’d also been writing to her mother so she felt secure in letting her daughter meet us. What happened? Well we arrived at where she was waiting for us and she immediately ran to Julia and hugged her. To Julia!!!!!! It was me had done all the writing. But yes, I got my hugs as did Yvonne. I still write to Patti and I still consider her a friend and not an acquaintance.

I have friendships all over America. One in particular with a talented lady who trusted me enough to share her problems with me and who took a real interest in mine. That’s a big part of it for me, the fact that a friendship is based on sharing the problems or the fun with someone who doesn’t just want to talk about themselves or their latest book.  One of my greatest treasures is an Hungarian Aussie who sends about eight one line messages a day which are responded to in one line responses. We make them as funny as possible and delight in scoring points off each other. And yet, when Julia died, this friend was there for me with messages of comfort and help.Thank you Andrea.

If I added the name of all those I’ve come to call friend and the reasons we’d be here all day but there are some exceptional people I must remember. So I’m going to say thank you to those who’ve proved themselves cast in the correct role and please don’t think that this is a complete listing. I will forget some here and kick myself later when I realise it. Pauline ,Metan,  Normandie, Earl ( Gather), Wendy (Gather) Renata, Mary J., Jolyse,  Lorene, Lori, Chris (ASMSG) Grey (ASMSG), Niamh, Angelika, and more recently Martine. I’m more grateful than most of you will ever know. If I’ve forgotten to name someone it’s not that I don’t count you as friend it’s purely the sign of an ageing memory. Please forgive me and know I still value you greatly.

I’m adding an edit to the post at this point as I need to add a friend I greatly value whom I was not sure would appreciate inclusion when I first wrote this. She was not amongst the friends I was remiss in not adding by accident but rather on purpose. She is yet another writer and her name is Sherie. An author of good books she has  become a friend in a relatively short space of time and after the death of my beloved Julia was hugely supportive. I owe you thanks Sherie. xx Hugs xx

Take it from me, you certainly can make a good and lasting friendship on Social Sites even though you may never meet the person. If you’re open to friendship it can come from the most surprising directions.


Filed under Uncategorized